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Oops- that last word should be conscience. It’s late, time for bed.
To GFeret- Growing up Catholic in the 1950s, and a big fan of monster/horror/ sci fi movies, I not only read the movie listings in the Sun Times, but also The New World. They had the Legion of Decency ratings: A1, A2, A3, B (Morally Objectionable In Part For All), and the most severe rating C (Condemned). To my knowledge, no monster movie was ever condemned. Most got an A2 or A3 rating. But a few were were rated B, and these come to mind (along with , I’m guessing, the reasons): “INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN” (teenagers making out in lovers lane), “NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST” (a pregnant man!), “THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST” (Reincarnation- can’t have little kids and teenagers questioning their faith- and a not so subtle suggestion of woman and ape mating), and “I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN” (more lovers lane scenes and man playing god). The C rating went to mostly foreign films- virtually all of Brigitte Bardot movies were condemned, along with a few American films. If memory serves, viewing a C rated movie was a mortal sin, but seeing a B rated film was only a venial sin(?).Anyway, that’s the way it was back then. Fun times- with only a SLIGHTLY guilty conscious!
Thanks to all who shared photos of the RKO Grand. In one of the pics, the marquee states OPEN ALL NIGHT AND ALL DAY. Just like the Clark theatre- about 1 block away, and, around the corner on Randolph- the Woods theatre (MIDNIGHT SHOWS EVERY NIGHT TO 6 A.M.) Back when downtown Chicago was busy almost 24/7.
Yes, that is a nice shot of the Alex. Never saw a photo before. But I do remember looking at the movie listings in the Sun Times in the mid to late 50s . On Fridays, the ads for the Alex were quite large- larger than most other neighborhood theatres. Almost always a triple feature- two horror films with a western, or whatever. Vividly recall “UNKNOWN TERROR” plus “BACK FROM THE DEAD”… “FROM HELL IT CAME” plus “THE DISEMBODIED”… “HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER” plus “TEENAGE CAVEMAN” and thinking gee, I wish I lived nearby!As a little kid, I was afraid to travel to the west side. In 1969, a co-worker told me he went to school on the west side, and the nuns told the students not to go to the Alex ; they showed BAD movies. Not bad as in silly, or bad acting…I’m sure the good sisters meant morally bad. Some of the monster movies were classified “B” by the Catholic Legion of Decency. That didn’t stop my friend from attending.
In the 1957 movie “BEGINNING OF THE END”, you can see the Chicago and Loop theatres at exactly 1 hour and 23 seconds into the film. On the Chicago marquee “MOBY DICK” ; the Loop is showing “MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS”. Can be seen- for free- at YouTube.
In the 1980 movie “DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!”, there is a nice shot of the Cave theatre between the 39 and 40 minute mark. Many other street scenes are scattered throughout the 95 minute exploitation film.
Went to the 4:25 showing of “COSMOPOLIS” today; a total of 4 people in the auditorium. One reason I like the 600 North- not many people attend Monday through Thursday. Even though it lacks stadium seating, it’s quite comfortable. Not as nice as River East 21, but close.
WOW, that 1938 pic sure is nice- and brings back memories! Only a few changes over 2-3 decades. When I started going to the De Luxe in 57-58 through the 60s,the poster cases were slightly different. Each one had 3 posters- at the top, a 28" by 22" poster, and from the middle of the case to the bottom, two- 14" by 36" posters(inserts). Also, at the time, the paint around the DE LUXE sign facing Wison Ave. (light green in color, as I recall),was peeling and faded. Still, pretty impressive for a non Balaban & Katz theatre. Thanks for sharing, Tinsel.
Nice pics, Tinseltoes. As the Keystone, rather fancy looking outside; as the Mode, much plainer. The tiny boxoffice remained the same- a nice, easy job-assuming you didn’t have claustrophobia! Thanks for sharing.
In the movie “NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY”, there are a number of very quick theatre marquee shots. At the 1 hour 31 minute and 36 second mark, there is the Victory theatre- on the marquee: PINK PUSSY" plus “SUBURBIA CONFIDENTIAL”. Right next door is the Lyric; it’s showing “BORN LOSERS” plus “DOOR TO DOOR MANIAC”. At the 1-31-22 mark, you can see the Empire-on the marquee: “LAST OF THE SECRET AGENTS” plus “ONCE A THIEF”. Can be seen- for free- on YouTube.
After the 10p.m. showing of STRAW DOGS last night, I asked an employee about the possibility of the Norridge closing. Low attendance (8 people in auditorium 1 ; perhaps 24 cars in the parking area at 9:45) did not look promising. He said every year there are rumors re: the theatre closing. But every year AMC renews the lease. Most important, they recently invested $10,000. for new air-conditioning. So, it looks like the theatre will remain open for at least the near future. Good news.
In the lobby, just to the left of auditorium 1, there is a sign stating TRY ME ;underneath is a new seat with a cupholder. The Logan will close around Sept. 6, and reopen before Thanksgiving, according to the two employees I spoke with this afternoon. New seats, new and larger washrooms, and a few walls knocked down are among the improvements coming. Also in the lobby, on the south wall, are numerous pics of the Will Rogers and Harding, and- still around,thankfully- the Congress and Logan. The Congress has both interior and exterior views from various years.
Thanks for sharing that great pic, Bryan. Never got the chance to attend the Grand as a kid ; never saw the outside. (The photo I saw at the Corner Bakery Cafe doesn’t count…yours is much better). And now I know where “RED PLANET MARS” opened first run! lol…Thanks again.
Thanks for those great photos of the Lakeside, Jon. Love that triple feature! The auditorium- more beautiful than I recall. Most unusual thing about the Lakeside- the location of the mens room. Literally just a few steps away from the exit doors and the sidewalk.
1937- ten years before I was born, that vertical sign with the accent on the “e” looks exactly the same as I recall it from 1957 to about 1968, when the neon was removed and the theatre became the PUERTO RICO. The letters were hand painted, and the black background was turned white or light yellow. Saw “GOLDFINGER” in English- with Spanish subtitles- to a near empty auditorium. Thanks for posting, Compass.
Just noticed- on May 8, 1968, the nearby TOWN theatre on Armitage had ON STAGE IN PERSON TURA SATANA (star of Faster Pussycat). I heard Tura passed away recently. Met her at the Music Box not long ago….. RIP.
Thanks for the pic, Compass. I remember the huge vertical sign ;had forgotten what the marquee was like. What was playing that day- HOLLYWOOD NUDIST REPORT and ADOLESCENT SHAME?? And the sidewalk sign by the curb states FREE PARKING…? Just want to make one correction- if the pic is from 1964, the Plaza was not close to demolition. I have the Sun Times movie listings from May 8, 1968- the Plaza was still open, showing AGONY OF LOVE plus THE NAKED CAPER.It may have been in operation til 1969 or even to 1970. Anyway, thanks again for posting.
At the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY in Elmhurst, IL, you can see a flyer from January 1969. At this time, the Newberry was changing its program on an almost daily basis. Among the many films showing that week: “HOMBRE”, “MADIGAN”, “MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH” and Elke Sommer and Bob Crane in “THE WICKED DREAMS OF PAULA SCHULTZ”. There is a nice exterior shot- circa 1942. On the marquee: 10c TO 6:30 AFTER 15 “INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS” also “MEET BOSTON BLACKIE”. Under the marquee is the rather small box office, facing southeast. Just to the right is a small poster case displaying 4 lobby cards. Across from the box office- facing north- 2 more poster cases. Above the entrance doors is a 3 line mini marquee. There is also a pic of the lobby-looking west. On the left wall are 6 poster cases; straight ahead is one of the auditorium doors, and what looks like the very small candy counter.
From the Tribune movie directory dated Friday, December 5, 1941: CHICAGO OPEN 10:15A.M. TODAY The sky’s the limit for stage revelry and screen deviltry! CLAUDETTE COLBERT RAY MILLAND BRIAN AHERNE “SKYLARK” oo- LA-LA ON STAGE! CLIFFORD C. FISCHER’S ALL NEW Folies Bergere of 1942 70 Dazzling Minutes 53 Entertainers 10 Lavish Scenes 30 Gorgeous BEAUTIES featuring GENE SHELDON SENOR WENCES LUCIENNE & ASHOUR ANDRE RATOUCHEFF LITTLE FRED & CO. (and a few other names I’ve never heard of- with the exception of Senor Wences on the Ed Sullivan show?).
Hi Larry- send me an e-mail by clicking my name. We can work it out, and yes, I’d be interested in that picture from 1937. The Mode always had low prices- I remember paying 55 cents even into the 1960s for some great…and some silly- triple features. In the flyer, you will see not only a number of movies advertised, but also about 11 neighborhood merchants , each with a small blurb; for example :“Prescriptions Our Specialty” STRATFORD REXALL DRUG STORE 4129 SHERIDAN Open 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. Phone GRaceland 2-3656 For Fast & Cheerful Delivery Drugs- Liquors – Luncheonette. (ring a bell?)
At the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY in Elmhurst,IL., you can see 5 really nice pics of the DeLuxe- circa 1954. A small but nice pic of the marquee: JOHN PAYNE in PASSAGE WEST & ANN SHERIDAN in(the 4th line of the marquee is mostly covered by a street lamp). Three nice shots of the lobby- one showing the concession stand, the entrance to the auditorium, the entrance to the mens washroom(above it a large banner for the film GARDEN OF EVIL), and , to the far left, what looks like a staircase leading to the balcony. Behind the candy counter is another poster: THE LAST OUTPOST. Whoever took the picture was facing southwest. Another shot of the lobby shows the exit doors-6 total- and the ticket takers stand. Above the exit doors, two posters are featured, in between a sign stating SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY. Above that, a square clock. Looks like the picture was taken at 4:30. The camera was facing north. One more shot of the lobby features murals and another poster case (THE UNTAMED BREED is on display). This is the east wall ; beyond it the CTA L tracks and Broadway). The last shot is of the foyer lounge, with what looks like love seats. Pretty much the way I remember the place, although when I attended, a bit less decorative. But still, VERY impressive for a neighborhood theatre.
At the Theatre Historical Society in Elmhurst,IL. ,you can see: a weekly flyer (circa 1941) of the Lex- COOLED by refrigeration-1162 East 63rd Street -DORCHESTER 1085. A number of films are advertised inside the flyer; here and there are phrases like PUSH BACK SEATS,FREE CHECKING SERVICE, PERFECT SOUND. Also, a nice shot of the outside -circa 1936. 2 BLOOD CURDLING HORROR PICTURES! KARLOFF THE WALKING DEAD plus REVOLT of the DEMONS(the name was changed;it’s actually REVOLT OF THE ZOMBIES).A number of people are standing outside, by and near the boxoffice. All look like they’re having a good time. Oh, and a skeleton is hanging near the boxoffice, and a guy in a skeleton mask and outfit is on a hospital bed?!?! Most of the people are looking into the camera.
To Scott and LTS: there are a number of pics of the Pantheon at the Theatre Historical Society.Two great shots of the auditorium- one is facing the stage and screen; the other facing away from the stage, showing at least 4 auditorium doors, the main floor, and the balcony. Looks very ornate with lots of detail. Two nice shots of the exterior (circa 1918). There were trees just outside the theatre; I don’t remember any in the late 50s. Many movie posters on display; on the marquee: “ASHES OF LOVE”. A fantastic looking building.
To charles 1954: in one of your posts way back in 2005, you wished to see a flyer from the Mode. I found one- got some copies made. Looks like it’s from 1959, maybe 1960. Hopefully you will see this post, and, if you wish, I can send it to you via snail mail. Feel free to e mail me with your address, or, next time you visit Chicago, let me know. A guarantee- you will get a kick out of it. ~Ken.
From the Sun Times movie directory dated Friday,May 7. 1971: The Stewardesses 3D OPEN LETTER TO LOOP THEATRE MANAGER Dear Sir, We saw ‘THE STEWARDESSES’ at the Loop Theatre. WOW! Are all stewardesses like the ones in the movie? (signed) John and Mary Dear John and Mary, I don’t know. I haven’t met every stewardess. Max Milstein, Mgr. Loop Theatre. (Mr. Milstein was a real person-real name. He worked for Balaban & Katz for years; I remember him from the United Artists theatre in the mid 60s. A short guy with glasses and a dry- sometimes wicked- sense of humour. As managers go, a nice guy.)